Review of Jesus: First-Century Rabbi

When I saw that there would be a Patheos Book Club on Rabbi David Zaslow’s book Jesus: First-Century Rabbi, I knew I had to participate. Not only the subject of the historical figure of Jesus, but also the relationship of Christian origins to its Jewish matrix, interest me both professionally and personally. The cover material of [Read More...]

Schiffman – Messages from the Dead Sea Scrolls

Lecture by Lawrence Schiffman [Read more...]

History and the Bible on Reddit

Today there will be an AMA session on ancient Jewish and Christian history, including but not limited to matters that intersect with the Bible, on the AskHistorians subreddit. I will be participating. Hope you’ll pay a visit! UPDATE: Here’s a direct link:  http://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/1sbq67/we_are_scholarsexperts_on_ancient_judaism/   [Read more...]

Happy Hanukkah!

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Have a Happy Thanksgivukkah!

So apparently Thanksgivukkah is what they are calling the convergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah in just a couple of days from now. This is not merely a once in a lifetime event, but a once in a civilization event, as the next convergence will be many tens of thousands of years in the future. So [Read More...]

The Iranian Talmud

Shai Secunda, one of the scholars behind the Talmud Blog, has a book that is being released, The Iranian Talmud: Reading the Bavli in Its Sasanian Context (in the series Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion, from University of Pennsylvania Press). As someone interested in Judaism, Eastern Christianity, Jewish-Christian interaction, and the Mandaeans, this is a [Read More...]

TARDIS Sukkah

Someone on Reddit posted this picture of a sukkah on their campus. Some Jewish Whovians somewhere clearly know how to celebrate Sukkoth properly!   [Read more...]

Shana Tova!

Happy new year to those who celebrate it according to the Jewish calendar! Even the Iranian president has voiced his Rosh ha-Shanah sentiments! [Read more...]

Talmudic Humor

A post about philosophy and humor appeared on 3quarksdaily. It included this famous bit of humor: There is a well-known joke about Talmudic interpretation. A Jew is talking to his Rabbi. Rabbi,” the man said, “Explain the Talmud to me.” “Very well,” he said. “First, I will ask you a question. If two men climb [Read More...]

Arctic Sabbath

This probably would be a good name for a band. But having just heard a sermon about the Sabbath last weekend, and reflecting on the fact that the length of the Sabbath differs with the seasons, it struck me that in the arctic and in Antarctica, the Sabbath, and any Jewish or other observance that [Read More...]

Pihta and Polemic in the Mandaean Canonical Prayerbook

Jorunn Buckley's paper at the ARAM conference on the Mandaeans focused on a series of prayers focused on the pihta, a special bread used in Mandaean ritual. There are references and allusions to other groups which are viewed as not making or eating the bread in an appropriate manner.   I think that CP357 is [Read More...]


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